HOW TO LOVE A WOMAN: part two
Make Her Feel Safe
I woke up this morning feeling safe.
Pushing back the thick down comforter, I slipped out of bed while your dad slept soundly. Jackson led me excitedly to the laundry room as he does every morning, where I filled his bowl with 2 scoops of dog food, which he wolfed down as if he was afraid he might starve. I get the impression that he’s just not sure if I’ll remember to feed him one of these days and so he starts off every morning on a mission to remind me. Just in case.
And I think I used to be just like our dog.
Unsure that anyone would love me enough to take care of me every day.
Always. No matter what.
Would this be the day when Phil would stop loving me?
Would he be too busy to care today?
Too distracted to remember my presence?
Too enamored with all that the world outside our little home offers to notice me?
And so I’d wake up every morning asking those same questions, just a little fearful, hesitant. Watching to see if what I feared would come true. Feeling that maybe I needed to remind him that I’m hungry for his love, for assurance, for that pat on the back.
And every day for 35 years your dad has just loved me. Again. Until I finally feel safe and secure and sure that yes, today he’ll still love me. No matter what.
Matthew, I want you to understand that every woman, in her own way, enters every relationship feeling just a little unsafe… and that she’s looking to you with just a hint of fear behind her eyes… and that you can either fuel those fears or choose to go on a mission to make her know she's safe with you. No matter what.
And so, my dear son, in case you’ve missed the clues while growing up in this home where love has made your mama feel safe, I’d like to make another list.
This is how your dad did it:
- He tells me he loves me. Over and over and over again. Using words. Lots of words.
- He is affectionate with me. Ruffles my hair, holds my hand, sits close.
- He looks at me when I talk. Not over my shoulder or out the window- at me.
- He stays aware of me, choosing to see my beauty and look away from other women.
- He lets me be who I am, never hinting that if only I’d do more or be different he’d love me better.
- He never yells at me— ever.
- He prays with me whenever he senses that fear again.
- He seeks out my advice.
- He guards me from bad guys- locking the door, looking around, letting me know that he’s on it.
- He pays the bills. On time. Every time.
- He goes to work. Every day.
- Sometimes he empties the dishwasher…
I could write a whole letter on each of these dozen ways your dad has chased my fears away. There are stories and reasons and Scripture and so much more to say about making a woman feel safe.
This is how a man loves a woman, Matthew. Every day. For a lifetime. Starting now.
I love you!